Can You Clean Coronavirus Off Your Food?

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Evidence suggests there’s little reason to be concerned about coronavirus on your food. There are no known cases of food or food packaging transmission of COVID-19
  • Conventionally accepted food safety guidelines should be followed. Cook your food well. Takeout can be reheated if you’re concerned about contamination. Fresh produce should be washed under running water
  • Do not use hand soap, dish soap or bleach to clean your produce
  • Raw food is also unlikely to cause COVID-19, even if it’s contaminated by a cough or sneeze. The reason for this is because respiratory viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 reproduce in your respiratory tract, not your digestive tract, which is where your food goes
  • A sensible way to minimize any risk associated with contaminated food packages, however potentially small, would be to transfer the food to a clean container and wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds after discarding the original container

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